1 of 4
  • William Blake, 'Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing' circa 1786

    William Blake
    Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786
    Pencil and watercolour on paper
    support: 475 x 675 mm
    Presented by Alfred A. de Pass in memory of his wife Ethel 1910

    View the main page for this artwork

  • William Blake, 'Epitome of James Hervey's 'Meditations among the Tombs'' circa 1820-5

    William Blake
    Epitome of James Hervey's 'Meditations among the Tombs' circa 1820-5
    Pen and ink and watercolour on paper
    support: 431 x 292 mm
    Presented by George Thomas Saul 1878

    View the main page for this artwork

  • William Blake, 'The Ghost of a Flea' circa 1819-20

    William Blake
    The Ghost of a Flea circa 1819-20
    Tempera heightened with gold on mahogany
    support: 214 x 162 mm frame: 382 x 324 x 50 mm
    Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1949

    View the main page for this artwork

  • William Blake, 'Newton' 1795/circa 1805

    William Blake
    Newton 1795/circa 1805
    Colour print finished in ink and watercolour on paper
    support: 460 x 600 mm
    Presented by W. Graham Robertson 1939

    View the main page for this artwork

1824 Foundation of the National Gallery, the parent institution of the Tate.

1827 12 August. William Blake dies. Impoverished and forgotten, he is supported in his final days by a few loyal admirers including the artists John Linnell and Samuel Palmer.

1863 Alexander Gilchrist’s Life of William Blake is published. It helps to initiate a reassessment of Blake’s art.

1876 An exhibition The Works of William Blake is held at Burlington Fine Arts Club, London. It helps establish Blake as an important figure in art history.

1878 David Delivered out of Many Waters and Epitome of Harvey’s ‘Meditations among the Tombs’ are presented to the National Gallery by George Thomas Saul. They are the first works by Blake to enter the national collection.

1882 Spiritual Form of Pitt Guiding Behemoth is purchased by the National Gallery.

1884 The Body of Christ Borne to the Tomb is presented to the National Gallery by F.T. Palgrave.

1897 The National Gallery of British Art (the official name for the Tate Gallery) is founded. 

1909 Blake’s watercolours David Delivered out of Many Waters and Epitome of Harvey’s ‘Meditations among the Tombs’ are transferred from the National Gallery to the Tate.

1910 Oberon, Titania and Puck is presented to the Tate by Alfred De Pass.

1911 Blake’s works are on display in Gallery 1 of the Tate Gallery along with other early 19th-century artists.

1913 October – December. A major loan exhibition of Blake is held at the Tate Gallery, the first at a public gallery. A reduced version tours to Manchester, Nottingham and Edinburgh. 

1914 Blake’s works are shown in a separate gallery at the Tate together with work by the sculptor and painter Alfred Stevens (1817-75).
Bathsheba at the Bath presented to the Tate by the Art Fund. 
The Spiritual Form of Nelson guiding Leviathan is purchased by the Tate.

1918 Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils is presented to the Tate by Miss Mary H Dodge. 
Blake’s 102 illustrations to Dante are sold at the auction of John Linnell’s collection. A consortium of galleries purchases the whole series, with 20 being bought by the Tate with the assistance of a special grant from the National Gallery and donations from the Art Fund, Lord Duveen and others, and presented through the Art Fund in 1919.

1920 Blake and Earlier Watercolours on display in Gallery 2 of the Tate Gallery. This includes a loan of works from artist and collector W. Graham Robertson. Robertson acquired many of the works in his collection from the family of Thomas Butts, Blake’s friend and patron.

1923 A mosaic floor by Boris Anrep based on Blake’s Proverbs of Hell from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is added to Gallery 2. This can still be seen today. Gallery 2 becomes dedicated to showing works by Blake. Blake’s works remain on display here until 1967.

1931 The Spiritual Form of Pitt Guiding Behemoth is transferred from the National Gallery to the Tate.

1934 The Body of Christ Borne to the Tomb is transferred from the National Gallery to the Tate.

1939 Nine of Blake’s ‘Large Colour Prints’ are presented to the Tate by W. Graham Robertson.

1940 An important group of drawings and watercolours is bequeathed by Miss Alice G.E. Carthew.

1947 August – September. William Blake (1757-1827) is held at the Tate Gallery. Out of 66 works in the exhibition, 25 are Tate-owned and 45 are from the collection of W. Graham Robertson. The show also appeared at Paris, Antwerp and Zurich.

1949 A tenth ‘Large Colour Print’ and watercolours and temperas including The Ghost of the Flea are bequeathed by the estate of W Graham Robertson.  

1957 Martin Butlin’s William Blake (1757-1827): A Catalogue of the Works of William Blake in the Tate Gallery is published. 

1967 Gallery 2, with Anrep’s Blake mosaic floor, is used for displaying Hogarth and his contemporaries. In the following years works by Blake are displayed in other rooms in the main gallery.

1978   March – May. William Blake, a comprehensive loan exhibition, is held at the Tate Gallery. 

1979 Blake and his Followers display shown in Gallery 7 until 1990.

1998 A Blake display returns to in Gallery 2 until 2000.

2000 November – February 2001. A major exhibition William Blake is held at Tate Britain. Tours to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

2001 Blake-themed displays at Tate Britain, including Blake and Jerusalem (2004), Blake in the 1940s (2006) and Blake and Physiognomy (2010).

2003 William Blake the Painter at Work, a display and accompanying book present technical research into Blake’s painting techniques.

2009 Display devoted to Blake’s only solo exhibition two hundred years earlier in May 1809 reunites nine of the surviving works. 

2009 8 colour relief etchings with handwritten inscriptions purchased by Tate with funds provided by the Art Fund, Tate Members, Tate Patrons, Tate Fund and individual donors.

2011 Blake collection on tour to Moscow and Madrid (until October 2012).

2013 Designated Blake Room opens once again at Tate Britain.